Hold onto your feathers, fellow chicken keepers! It’s autumn in South Africa, meaning moult season is upon us. If your ladies look a bit ragged, their egg production has mysteriously vanished, and you’re finding feathers worthy of a pillow fight scattered around your coop, don’t panic. It’s just the dreaded moult!

What the Flock is Moulting?

Think of moulting as your chickens’ version of shedding their fabulous summer outfit and getting a stylish new winter coat for the colder months. They ditch their old, worn-out feathers and grow in shiny new ones. It’s an entirely natural process but can be a bit, well, awkward for our feathered friends.

Signs Your Hen is in Full-on Moult Mode:

  • Feather Frenzy: Your coop looks like it had a run-in with a feather pillow tornado.
  • Bald Patches: Don’t worry, your chicken isn’t trying out a new punk rock hairstyle. Those bald spots are where new feathers are pushing through.
  • Diva Demands: Moulting hens get cranky. They might be less social and extra grumpy about their temporary fashion disaster.
  • The Egg-Laying Strike: Egg production takes a backseat while your hens focus on their new plumage.

How to Help Your Moulting Ma’ams

1. Protein Power-Up: Feathers are made of protein, so boost their diet! Offer high-protein treats like scrambled eggs (yes, they can eat their own!), mealworms, or a special moult-supporting feed mix.

2. Chill Out, Ladies: Moulting is stressful. Minimize any extra stress factors – loud noises, new flock members, or overly nosy neighbourhood dogs.

3. Dust Bath Deluxe: A luxurious dust bath helps soothe itchy skin and lets your hens preen themselves to their hearts’ content. Add some wood ash or diatomaceous earth for extra parasite-fighting power.

4. Patience is a Virtue: Moulting takes a few weeks to a few months. Don’t expect instant glamour; remember, even supermodels have awkward phases.

Remember, moult season is temporary, and your gorgeous gals will return to their egg-laying, feather-fabulous selves soon enough!

Has your flock survived moult season? Share your tips!